Huell Howser

Where's Huell? (July 19-25)

huell-koi.jpgUkuleles. Fruit trails. Automobiles.

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Monday - July 19, 7:30pm:Ukulele Man - Huell spends an afternoon with a 97-year-old ukulele maestro Bill Tapia. With a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, Bill shares with all of us his remarkable and colorful life story and his lively music. Bill Tapia isn't the only one with a love for the uke. Great Britain has an orchestra made up entirely of ukuleles that give their own spin to nineties grunge.

Tuesday - July 20, 7:30pm:Yosemite Buildings - When most people think of Yosemite, they imagine towering peaks and cascading waterfalls, but there is an amazing human history that is told through some of the many buildings that dot the valley floor.In this adventure, Huell discovers two small buildings that are very historic and very beautiful. He visits the Yosemite Valley Chapel, which was built in 1879 and is the oldest structure in park. The little chapel continues to serve as a place of worship for residents and visitors alike, as it has done for over 125 years.

Next it’s off to the LeConte Memorial Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, which was built by the Sierra Club in 1903-04. The unique structure honors eminent University of California geologist Joseph LeConte, an early Director of the Sierra Club who died in the Valley in 1901.

Wednesday - July 21, 7:30pm:Abalone Farm - Huell travels to the Central Coast to visit an abalone farm. For years, Californian’s could pluck these mollusks off the rocks at low tide. Over fishing and pollution has forced people to come up with other ways to supply our needs, The Abalone Farm Inc. in Cayucos has been growing and selling abalone since 1968. Huell also goes to a local café to sample some farm raised abalone. No abalone diving for Huell this trip. Maybe next time.

Thursday - July 22, 7:30pm:Koi Farm - Huell visits a Koi Farm and is amazed to see everything that goes into raising these beautiful fish. Koi aren't shy. Hold out some food and they'll eat right from your hand. Hope Huell's fingers don't have any run-ins with ill-intentioned koi at the Barstow Koi Farm.

Friday - July 23, 7:30pm:Westways - Huell spends the day at the headquarters of the Automobile Club of Southern California to get a behind the scenes look at the history of Westways Magazine. It was originally published under the name Touring Topics and its earliest issues focused on touring destinations, advances in automotive technology and efforts to bring modern roads to Southern California. The Westways name was placed on the mast in 1934. Many famous writers and artist have contributed over the last 100 years and Huell gets to see many of the original works.

Saturday - July 24, 7pm: Confusion Hill - This old fashioned roadside attraction is most known for the truly confusing gravity house — a structure that will make you second guess Sir Isaac Newton. Here's a video of the gravity house in action.

UPDATE: Since Huell's visit Confusion Hill has been officially named a "California State point of historic interest".

Sunday - July 25, 7pm:Sanger - Huell tours the Fresno County Fruit Trail, an 80-mile stretch of orchards as well as the top pitted-fruit producing area of the world. The Fruit Trail is a great spot to sample locally-grown nectarines, apricots, peaches, and plums. Huell even stops by a gallery where local artists have shown their appreciation for the region's agricultural beauty.

Next Huell stops in the nearby town of Sanger and visits the Miller House -- an 1898 old-growth redwood home now restored into the beautiful Blossom Trail B&B. Then at the Sanger Depot Museum, Huell learns about the 62-mile Kings River Flume, an astounding feat of engineering which supported the area's lumbering operations. Here's a film presented by the Museum, on the history of the Redwood lumbering.

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